Manager Reveals Secret Ingredient to Phillies’ Success

The Philadelphia Phillies celebrate a win.

Getty The Philadelphia Phillies celebrate a win.

One of the Philadelphia Phillies’ most obvious reasons for winning in recent seasons is talent.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has built one of the top rosters in the game. It is why the Phillies won the National League pennant in 2022 then reached the NL Championship Series last year.

The Phillies also have spent plenty of money constructing that roster. Right-handers Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler have nine-figure contracts with catcher J.T. Realmuto, first baseman Bryce Harper, shortstop Trea Turner and right fielder Nick Castellanos.

Pulling it all together is third-year manager Rob Thomson. Since being promoted from bench coach to replace the fired Joe Girardi 51 games into the 2022 season following a 22-29 start, Thomson has compiled a 155-118 record.

However, Thomson believes something else besides talent and his managerial acumen separates the Phillies.


Philadelphia Phillies Have Fun While Winning

Thomson recently talked to about that aspect of his team during the Phillies’ spring training camp in Clearwater, Fla.

“We have a really talented group but a fun group that has a lot of fun in the clubhouse and a lot of fun playing the game,” Thomson said.

Thomson understands the importance of having a loose atmosphere in the clubhouse. He had been in professional baseball for 38 years – including 16 as a major-league coach with the New York Yankees and Phillies – before getting his chance to manage in Philadelphia.

Thomson also knows that having star players can create problems when egos get in the way. However, that isn’t the case with the Phillies.

“They all love each other,” Thomson said. “They all support each other. They fight for each other. They have a lot of fun and we have some characters, but they compete their asses off every day, and they post every day. So that’s what makes it really fun for me. I never have to worry about our guys.”

Philadelphia Phillies Still Chasing Biggest Goal

As talented as they are, the Phillies might have difficulty breaking the Atlanta Braves’ grip on the National League East. The Braves have won six consecutive division titles.

However, the Phillies knocked off the Braves in the Division Series round of the NL playoffs the last two seasons. Even if the Phillies don’t win the NL East, it is easy to envision them reaching the postseason for a third straight year.

The big question for the Phillies is how can they get over the hump and win their first World Series since 2008?

They made it to the Fall Classic two years ago before losing to the Houston Astros in six games. The Phillies took a 3-1 lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks in last year’s LCS then lost the final three games of the series, including the final two at raucous Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

“That’s baseball,” Thomson said of coming up short. “You’ve just got to stay consistent throughout the playoffs and catch a few breaks here and there because once you get to the playoffs anything can happen. Everyone is a talented team and there really isn’t a lot separating one team from another.

“We’ll give it our best shot this year to get back to the playoffs again and hope that maybe a little bit of luck will go our way.”

The Phillies will certainly have fun while trying, says Turner, who begins the second season of the 11-year, $300-million contract he signed as a free agent.

“Everyone’s on the same page and wants the same outcome,” Turner said. “We all think this is one of the best places to play and to win.”

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